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Article posted: 8/13/2013 5:08 AM

American Chop Suey

In his new book "Beating the Lunch Box Blues" Associated Press food editor J.M. Hirsch shares two ways to use American chop suey in packed lunches - as a stand-in for sloppy joes on a bun and as a filling for Asian-style lettuce wraps.

In his new book "Beating the Lunch Box Blues" Associated Press food editor J.M. Hirsch shares two ways to use American chop suey in packed lunches - as a stand-in for sloppy joes on a bun and as a filling for Asian-style lettuce wraps.

 

Associated Press

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1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 red bell peppers, cored and diced (about 3 cups), divided

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1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 package (3 ounces) diced pancetta

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground bison

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes

2 cups beef broth

12 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni

Salt and ground black pepper

In a blender, combine the onion, two-thirds of the diced bell peppers, the tomato sauce, soy sauce and Italian seasoned. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the pancetta for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and remaining bell pepper and saute for 3 minutes. Add the bison and brown, breaking up any large clumps. Add the onion-bell pepper mixture from the blender, the diced tomatoes, broth and pasta.

Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves four (plus leftovers).

Leftover lunch ideas: Don't be afraid of carb-on-carb. Leftover American chop suey is delicious warm or cold on a bun (think sloppy Joes). If you want it warm, just heat the chop suey and pack it in a thermos (with the bun packed separately). At lunch, just spoon the chop suey onto the bun and enjoy. Rather not bulk up on bread? Pack a thermos of warm chop suey with some large Boston lettuce leaves on the side for DIY lettuce wraps!

"Beating the Lunch Box Blues" by J.M. Hirsch (Rachael Ray Books, 2013)

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